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The Great Escape announces keynote speakers for 2024

The Great Escape has confirmed Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker as one of the keynote speakers of the newly revamped conference.

The UK music industry event returns to Brighton from Wednesday 15 May to Saturday 18 May, with the Council of Music Makers (CMM), The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), BBC Introducing and Youth Music each set to curate a day of the programme.

On the Saturday of the conference, Cocker will present Biophobia, a special climate-themed talk about getting to grips with nature. The session will be presented by EarthPercent, the charity founded by Brian Eno to help the music industry support the most impactful organisations addressing the climate emergency.

Giving the conference’s opening keynote conversation on Wednesday 15 May, Darcus Beese OBE will reflect on his career as the UK’s first black record company CEO and one of the greatest A&Rs of his generation, having signed and nurtured artists like Amy Winehouse, U2 and Florence and the Machine. This conversation will come soon after the publication of his upcoming memoir ‘Rebel With A Cause’.

“Without a doubt, this is set to be an unmissable event for the UK industry”

On Thursday, Tom Gray (chair of the Ivors Academy and Labour Party PPC for Brighton Pavilion) and YolanDa Brown (OBE DL, musician, broadcaster and chair of the BPI) will deliver another keynote speech, discussing what the industry needs to do to protect music copyright and culture on a legislative level.

They join two previously announced keynote speakers: Lauren Mayberry (lead singer of CHVRCHES) and Sacha Lord (chair of the NTIA, co-creator of Parklife Festival and the Warehouse Project and Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester).

Also announced today, the Association of Independent Music joins as the conference’s newest industry collaborator, hosting three sessions centred on the independent music sector on the beach on Wednesday 15th May.

Rory Bett, CEO, MAMA Festivals, says: “From cultural icons to industry legends, our revamped conference has truly been supercharged with the calibre of these keynote speakers. Without a doubt, this is set to be an unmissable event for the UK industry.”

 


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The Great Escape unveils first speakers for 2024

The Great Escape (TGE) conference has announced its themes and first guest speakers for its revamped 2024 edition.

The UK music industry event returns to Brighton from Wednesday 15 May to Saturday 18 May, with the Council of Music Makers (CMM), The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), BBC Introducing and Youth Music each set to curate a day of the programme.

Confirmed speakers include Lauren Mayberry (Chvrches), Parklife and The Warehouse Project co-founder Sacha Lord, who is also night time economy adviser for Greater Manchester and chair of the Night Time Industries Association, and the They Think It’s All Sober podcast.

In the second room, The Great Escape’s partners will host panels including TikTok x Ticketmaster, The Spanish Wave, Audio Network, BPI, Pollstar, and Music Declares Emergency.

TGE has also announced the return of the Steve Strange Award for its third year. Introduced in honour of the late live agent and X-Ray Touring co-founder, the award recognises a music act that is breaking through creative boundaries. The recipient, who will receive a cash prize of £5,000, will be revealed on Monday 20 May.

“The scope of what’s going to be covered is more in depth and bigger and better than ever”

“We’re incredibly excited for how this brand new evolution of The Great Escape conference is shaping up,” says Rory Bett, CEO of organiser MAMA Festivals. “By bringing in some of the industry’s biggest and best networks and experts to develop the event, the scope of what’s going to be covered is more in depth and bigger and better than ever. This is the UK’s number one event for networking and getting ahead in the music industry like you’ve never seen it before.”

On 16 May, the CMM, the umbrella organisation representing the Ivors Academy, Featured Artists Coalition, Music Managers Forum, MPG and the Musicians’ Union, will cover key areas for people working in the business of music creation

The following day, the NTIA will provide a deep dive into the night time economy and current the state of play for venues and live entertainment. Then, on 18 May, BBC Introducing and Youth Music will focus on professional development for the next generation of emerging artists and entrepreneurs.

Saturday will also feature partner panels hosted by AudioActive, an organisation creating social change through music, and educational event platform THEFUTUREIS.

New for 2024, TGE has launched a brand-new Saturday-only conference ticket for £35, with a Saturday conference & festival combo ticket priced £75.

 


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The Great Escape 2023 to showcase 500+ artists

The Great Escape‘s head of music Adam Ryan has previewed tomorrow’s return of the UK showcase festival and convention in an interview with IQ.

The event, which is operated by Live Nation’s MAMA, will feature over 500 artists from around the world – more than even the BBC Proms – at 35-plus venues across Brighton from 10-13 May.

Spotlight shows will be headlined by Unknown T at Concorde 2 (presented by UTA), Maisie Peters (presented by TGE) and Arlo Parks (presented by Rolling Stone UK), both at Brighton Dome, while stage hosts will include Amazon Music, TikTok, the Royal Albert Hall, Speedy Wunderground and Transgressive.

Ryan says the festival’s mission remains to “showcase the best new artists from around the globe”.

“It’s important that we are helping export offices and the showcase artists from their country,” he tells IQ. “But at its core it is music discovery so we will focus on new and emerging talent and that is always the remit.”

“I don’t think we’ll ever increase the number of artists – 500 is a lot, but it still helps us have cut through”

Leading music talent agencies will be hosting showcases throughout the festival. WME’s showcase will kick off the TGE Beach Stage on Thursday 11 May featuring Hot Wax, Maeve, Saint Harison, May and Future Utopia. ATC Live’s line-up takes over Komedia Basement the same day with Sam Akpro, Billie Marten, Willie J Healey, Blondshell, Enumclaw and Deadletter.

+44 from Amazon Music will also be showcasing an evening of Black music artists with +44 Live presents TGE Beach on the Amazon Music Stage on Saturday 13 May. The line-up will be headlined by K-Trap, who will be joined by AntsLive, Miss LaFamilia,Zakhar and Shae Universe.

“We try to showcase as many genres within the limitation of the venues that we have. The key is to align with credible partners to make sure that we’re doing those genres justice,” explains Ryan.

“I don’t think we’ll ever increase the number of artists – 500 is a lot, but it still helps us have cut through in terms of the artists not being lost. We have about 5,000 delegates from around the globe attend each year and we’d like to expand that; we’d definitely like to try and get that as diverse as possible and be a leading force in diversifying and making the music industry more of a representation of society.

“We’d like to sell more tickets, obviously, because we’re a business, But it’s trying to do it in the in the right way that’s going to enhance The Great Escape and also enhance the music industry going forward.”

“There’s nothing that will ever replicate the feeling of being in a room watching somebody perform”

Ryan also offers his thoughts on the question marks regarding the health of the UK music scene’s talent pipeline.

“I hate that phrase – talent pipeline – but I understand that it’s a business and that’s why we refer to it like that,” he says. “I just find it a bit crude to people’s art that [it’s referred to] as going into a pipeline. But I find it interesting that the speed at which artists can get local, national or global recognition before they even have a live show.

“With TikTok, you could have a 20-second clip of one song generate 30/40/50 million streams, but the live show hasn’t even been thought about and there’s barely 15 minutes, let alone half an hour, to even one live performance. So I think that will have a knock on effect in terms of what can grow through to larger festival stages, but there’s always going to be an abundance of exciting artists making original music and doing it the old fashioned way of touring and playing live, because that just can’t be beaten. There’s nothing that will ever replicate the feeling of being in a room watching somebody perform.”

Italy is the festival’s lead country partner for 2023, and will host two special Italian showcases, titled La Festa, coordinated by Italia Music Export. Anna Bassy, San Soucis, and Maria Chiara Argiro will take to the stage at Patterns Upstairs on 11 May, and The Gluts, Milanosport, BLUEM, and Eugenia Post Meridiem will perform at Three Wise Cats on 12 May.

“It has been tough, but we’ve got there and we’re really, really happy with the line-up”

This year’s TGE conference programme, meanwhile, includes three full day strands curated by CMU – Music+Education (10 May), Music+Deals (11 May) and Music + The Creator Economy (12 May).

“For us, it’s important to have three topics and spend the day drilling into those topics and then hopefully, we can have a conclusion and make a change,” says Ryan.

Keynote speakers include Ticketmaster’s EVP of global music David Marcus, who will discuss the latest trends, innovations and opportunities in the live music and ticketing sector, and Afro Nation co-founder SMADE, who will tell the story of the festival’s creation and development. BPI and Youth Music chair Yolanda Brown, and songwriter, producer and PRS Members’ Council president Michelle Escoffery will also deliver keynotes.

In closing, Ryan adds that planning this year’s festival has not been without its challenges.

“Brighton is a fantastic place with lots of venues and all in walkable distance,” he says. “But with the current economic crisis and standards of living, and rents and rates going up, a lot of the venues have changed hands or changed names more so than previous years, or closed altogether. And it’s difficult to plan the footprint of the festival in November if a venue’s in limbo.

“Production costs have gone up, artists fees have gone up and it’s difficult for us because we’re not a greenfield site so it’s not just a matter of us selling a couple more thousand tickets – we’re limited to the venues that are in Brighton. So it has been tough, but we’ve got there and we’re really, really happy with the line-up and how we’re engaging with Brighton and representing new music in the city.”

 


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The Great Escape ramps up for ‘historic’ comeback

UK showcase festival and convention The Great Escape (TGE) will return to its in-person format for the first time in two years.

TGE 2022 is set to take place next week (11–14 May) in venues across the seaside city of Brighton, with around 3,500 music industry professionals in attendance.

This year’s edition will showcase 500 emerging artists from all over the world including Baby Queen, Muna, Lynks, Moa Moa, Let’s Eat Grandma and Cassyette.

Running alongside the showcases will be a three-strand conference jointly presented by CMU, which focuses on education, data and video.

“After a two-year absence due to Covid, The Great Escape has been straining at the leash to get back to Brighton to bring the best new music from around the world into the light,” says Rory Bett, CEO of TGE promoter MAMA Festivals.

“Artists have had the gift of time during covid to really engage with their creativity. The 500 stunning bands programmed across 60 indoor venues and outdoor spaces this year, will have some very special and surprising work to perform.”

“Our conference programme seeks to tackle the key issues and questions facing the industry and we will attempt to examine them thoroughly from many different and world authority perspectives. Discovery and networking are always at the heart of TGE and with the current sense of building excitement for the show, mixed with a weather forecast of 21 degrees and a sunny, we plan to come back with a Great Escape for the history books.”

The music + education conference will take place on the first day of the 2022 event, with music educators, music development organisations and the music industry coming together to discuss the best ways to nurture early-career music-makers on and off stage.

“[We’ve] has been straining at the leash to bring the best new music from around the world into the light”

Day two will see the music and data conference, which will put the spotlight on all the ways data now drives success in the music business – from ticketing to marketing and music discovery to streaming.

Finally, the music and video conference will give an overview of how video can be a revenue generator for artists, songwriters and the wider music industry.

CMU and TGE are also presenting a series of keynote in-conversations with guests including music PR legend Barbara Charone, who will be talking through the highlights and key moments of her career in the music industry ahead of the publication of her memoir ‘Access All Areas: A Backstage Pass Through 50 Years Of Music And Culture’.

MP and culture select committee member Kevin Brennan and musician and #BrokenRecord founder Tom Gray will also be in conversation.

Elsewhere, Ed Sheeran’s legal team will be discussing the recent headline-grabbing court battle over the star’s hit ‘Shape Of You’.

Organisers of the event also confirmed Ireland as lead country partner, Music Support as the charity partner and music school BIMM as the education partner.

Delegate passes for TGE are still available and can be bought here.

 


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Angus Baskerville to launch new indie agency

Angus Baskerville, the longstanding 13 Artists director and booking agent is moving to new independent agency Pure from 1 January 2022.

The move was announced in an email circulated this afternoon. Others CC’d on the email with a Pure Represents email address include Simon O’ Neill, Brooke Rayner, Hayley Morrison and Aimee Burn – all of whom were previously known to be working for 13 Artists.

Artist manager and Baskerville’s wife Jodie Harkins was also copied in on the email with a Pure Represents email address.

After working as an artist manager and in A&R at London Records, Baskerville joined 13 Artists as an agent in 2004, becoming a partner in 2010. In 2019, Baskerville opened a second 13 Artists office in London, at Tileyard Studios.

Speaking to IQ last year, he said: “I do believe the independent sector has the possibility of thriving in 2021 and beyond, as we’re required to modernise and refresh approaches to the way we work – and do that quickly.”

IQ has contacted Baskerville for comment.

 


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Form: Rockfeedback and One Inch Badge merge

Leading independent UK promoters Rockfeedback and One Inch Badge have announced their merger, creating a new joint venture, Form, with backing from Kilimanjaro Live.

The combined company will produce and promote more than 600 shows across the UK annually. The Rockfeedback (RFB) and One Inch Badge (OIB) brands will continue in their home markets of London and Brighton, respectively, while shows outside those cities will be branded Form Presents.

Kilimanjaro Live – a national promoter majority owned by Germany’s DEAG – joins as a third partner, lending its administrative and infrastructural support while remaining a separate entity.

Form’s combined live roster includes the likes of Flume, Father John Misty, the War on Drugs, Kate Tempest, Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Bonobo, Johnny Flynn, Fontaines DC, Future Islands, Marika Hackman, Dream Wife and Kurt Vile, while OIB and RFB will continue to collaborate on non-music events and programming for brand clients. (Previous co-productions include book launches and comedy events for Akala, Neil Tennant, Beastie Boys and Kim Gordon and ‘in conversation’ events with Jon Ronson and Making a Murderer.)

“Following on from years of successful collaboration with Alex and all at OIB, we’re delighted to have found a great, natural way to bring our brands together, while creating something that feels new and different,” say RFB directors Dan Monsell and Toby L in a joint statement.

“We’re hugely excited about looking to further enhance the way we work with fantastic performers and servicing their fans as best as possible, for what we believe to be the next generation of classic and vital acts.”

“Following on from years of successful collaboration … we’re delighted to have found a great, natural way to bring our brands together”

Kilimanjaro director Steve Tilley tells IQ the company has taken a stake in Form, and will act as an advisory to the business, lending its support and experience as the new entity grows.

“There’s quite a lot of synergy for Kilimanjaro, as we’re very conscious of the independent promoters,” Tilley explains. “We’re here to help grow what RFB and OIB have done up to this point – and the FORM set-up scales that up really nicely. We’re very excited to be involved.’’

“We’re delighted to launch Form, a new live music and multi-disciplinary arts company that strives to set the path for a more considered and progressive touring opportunity through innovation, curation and new media marketing,” comments OIB director Alex Murray.

“After a decade working as a proudly independent company One Inch Badge are excited to be part of Form with long-term friends and collaborators, Rockfeedback and Kilimanjaro.”

“I’ve known Dan, Alex and Toby for several years and when they first raised the idea of joining forces and inviting Kilimanjaro to become part of their long-term plan, it was a complete no-brainer to me,” adds Tilley. “Dan, Toby and Alex are brilliant, creative and entrepreneurial promoters and Kilimanjaro is very excited to help them build and grow their business and careers.”

 


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TGE 2020 adds more acts ahead of live launch

Fourteen more acts have been added to the Great Escape 2020 line-up, ahead of the showcase festival’s ‘First Fifty’ live launch in London this week.

A total of 50 artists are now on the bill for 2020 event, which will host over 450 acts in total across more than 30 venues.

Newly announced acts include GoGo Penguin, Velvet Negroni, Larry Pink The Human and Evie Irie, joining previously confirmed artists such as Master Peace, Do Nothing, House of Pharaohs and Sons of Raphael.

Many of the TGE 2020 acts are performing tonight (Wednesday 13 November) and tomorrow in ‘First Fifty’ gigs at six venues in East London: Sebright Arms (150-cap.), the Old Blue Last (60-cap.), Colours (300-cap.), the Courtyard Theatre (150-cap.), the Macbeth (300-cap.) and the Curtain – LP Room (160-cap.).

A full list of concerts can be found here, with tickets available for £5 each.

The 15th edition of the Great Escape takes place from 13 to 16 May in Brighton, UK, with South Korea as lead country partner and core conference topics of education, media and global markets. Delegate passes are available here.

 


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The Great Escape unveils 2020 conference details

Showcase festival and convention the Great Escape (TGE) has announced that music education, music media and global markets will form the key themes of its 2020 conference in Brighton, UK.

TGE 2020 will take place from 13 to 16 May in venues across the seaside city of Brighton, with the conference hub located at the Jury’s Inn Brighton Waterfront hotel.

The music education conference will take place on the first day of the 2020 event, with music educators and employers coming together to discuss how music education, the music industry and the music community can better support early-career artists and musicians.

Day two will see the music media conference, which will put the spotlight on how consumers interact with media and influencers. Alongside the sessions will explore who is influencing artists’ fanbases, aside from the music press and radio, exploring options such as social media, playlists, gaming platforms and podcasters.

Finally, the global markets conference will provide an overview of the major trends, developments, challenges and opportunities in each key music market, identifying the strongest revenue streams, services, social media and genres in each region. The conference will also highlight emerging markets including India, China, Brazil, Nigeria and South Korea.

Organisers of the event also confirmed South Korea as lead country partner, following Australia last year and the Netherlands in 2018. Brighton-based charity Grassroots Suicide Prevention is the event’s named charity partner.

“The impact Korean artists are having within the music industry today is very exciting”

Alternative K-pop band Balming Tiger will perform at TGE 2020’s showcase festival, alongside Sons of Raphael, Lazarus Kane and Boy Scouts. More acts are to be confirmed in the run up to the festival.

Last year’s festival saw performances from Lewis Capaldi, Foals, Shame, Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes, Friendly Fires and more.

“We are very excited to be back for another year bringing together top industry professionals and creative minds under one roof,” comments Rory Bett, CEO of TGE promoter MAMA Festivals.

“The impact Korean artists are having within the music industry today is very exciting and it’s important for The Great Escape to put the spotlight on and to celebrate that fact.”

A spokesperson for the music industry team at the Korea Creative Content Agency, Kocca, says it is an “honour” to team up with TGE.

“It will be our fourth year working with the festival and to be named lead country partner for 2020 is a great privilege. It is a very exciting time for the Korean music market and we are looking forward to bringing our new wave of artists to the Brighton shoreline next year.”

Early bird delegate passes for TGE 2020 are available here, priced at £180.

 


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Biggest music line-up ever for Pride events

As London gears up for its Pride parade this Saturday (6 July), live music is playing an increasingly important part in Pride events across the globe, with artists are doing their bit to further equality.

The London event, featuring performances from Billy Porter and X Factor star Saara Aalto, marks the end of Pride month, a worldwide celebration of the LGBT+ community and of that community’s movement for equality.

In June, Pride parades and festivals took place in cities including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Sao Paulo and Sydney, with more scheduled throughout the UK and Europe over the coming months.

Pride events in New York saw performances from Madonna, Lady Gaga, Lizzo and Alicia Keys. In Los Angeles Meghan Trainor, Years and Years, Cristian Castro and the Veronicas featured on the Pride festival line-up.

Across the Atlantic, “LGBT+ icon” Kylie Minogue will headline Brighton’s Pride in the Park on Saturday 3 August, fresh from her appearance at Glastonbury Festival. Joining Kylie at the event will be Grace Jones, Jessie J and Clean Bandit.

Manchester is putting on arguably one of the biggest live music events of the Pride calendar, taking over Broadwick Venue’s Mayfield Depot (10,000-cap.) for a ticketed, two-day music event, Manchester Pride Live.

Organisers “expect to see record attendance” as acts such as Ariana Grande, Cheryl and Basement Jaxx prepare to grace the stage.

“Celebrating LGBT+ life means a great deal to each of the artists performing at the festival this year,” Manchester Pride chief executive Mark Fletcher tells IQ.

“Celebrating LGBT+ life means a great deal to each of the artists performing at the festival this year”

“We work closely with agents and management to ensure that all artists are clear on the importance of Pride celebrations and this year we’ve actually received more requests than ever from artists who want to come along to perform at the festival to show their support for the campaign for greater LGBT+ equality.”

The choice of heterosexual Grande as the Manchester Pride Live headliner sparked complaints from some members of the LGBT+ community, according to Variety, as did the selection of non-LGTB+ artists at other Pride events.

However, the Manchester Pride boss states the event always aims “to ensure there is clear representation from LGBT+ artists on the line-up” and stresses that the appearance of any high-profile artists “is very important to our audience”.

“Whether they are LGBT+ or allies, the message that is displayed through the appearance of high-profile artists is clear for the world to see: We stand as one to tackle the inequalities and discrimination that is still faced by LGBT+ people today,” comments Fletcher.

“Music and performance represent freedom and happiness which both play a huge part in what we stand for,” adds Fletcher. “Music is at the heart of our Pride celebrations in Manchester and the music we showcase helps to create a vibrant atmosphere of unity.”

Manchester Pride Live weekend tickets are priced at £64.50 plus booking fees and are available here.

 


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Lewis Capaldi, Foals: the best of TGE 2019

Over 580 artists played 780 shows in Brighton as part of the Great Escape (TGE) from Wednesday 8 to Saturday 11 May, as 20,000 festival fans and music industry representatives attended venues across the seaside city.

The festival was also used as a platform for announcements from organisations including the Music Venue Trust (MVT), Music Managers Forum (MMF) and Attitude is Everything (AIE).

Foals made a return to TGE after 12 years away, playing a sold out spotlight show on Friday at the 500-capacity Concorde 2. The performance celebrated the 15th anniversary of independent, London-based record label Transgressive Records.

Lewis Capaldi, who recently sold out a UK arena tour in minutes prior to his debut album release, was another spotlight show artist, performing at the Brighton Dome (1,860).

South London post-punk band Shame came as a last minute announcement for the headline slot at the Fender Next Stage on Thursday night. Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes headed up the stage the following evening and Friendly Fires played a show on Brighton beach.

Over 580 artists played 780 shows in Brighton as part of the Great Escape

Other surprise performances across the festival came from singer-songwriter James Bay and Brighton-based artist Yonaka.

The festival closed with performances from Brisbane’s Emerson Snowe, European Talent Exchange Programme (ETEP) forerunner Black Midi and Brit-nominated singer-songwriter Anna Calvi.

Elsewhere, there was good news for grassroots music venues, as music charity MVT announced funding breakthroughs including a £1.5 million grassroots live music fund from the Arts Council England and several industry-led initiatives.

At the TGE conference, fellow music charity AIE revealed survey findings highlighting problems with accessibility for deaf or disabled artists and MMF debuted its new song royalties guide.

This year’s conference programme focused on music education, streaming and marketing.

Early bird delegate passes for next year’s TGE are now on sale.

 


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